Assignment east religion Essay

    Buddhism, Jainism and Hinduism are all eastern-based religions with long histories and millions of followers - Assignment east religion Essay introduction. Jainism, commonly known as Jain Dharma, originated in Ancient India and has influenced politics and economics for three millennia. Jainism stresses the ideas that all life is equal and that it is important to exercise non-violent behavior.  Hinduism is considered to be the oldest religion in the world. While thought to be centered in polytheism, Hindus believe in one true God that may present himself in many forms. The goal of Buddhism is to put an end to the suffering of everyday life. Buddhism is the fifth-largest religion in the world and can also be considered a philosophy as well as a form of psychology.

    The three religions have many facets in common. The first is the idea that its followers should focus on self-improvement in order to achieve the ultimate spiritual experience. In that sense, the three religious focus inward (improving the self), rather than outward (conversion of others). Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism all incorporate the importance of dharma, or religious duty. Followers of this religion use the concept of dharma to focus on social order, proper conduct, and virtue. Finally, each religious emphasizes a spiritual path that followers must take in order to achieve the goals of the religion.

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    These paths are the first way in which the religions differ. In Jain philosphy, the Nine Tattvas show Jainism followers how to achieve salvation. Hindus practice different types of yoga to achieve personal salvation, though these practices are different from the type of exercise yoga that is commonly practiced in the United States. Buddhists “walk” the most complicated path along the Four Noble Truths and the Noble Eightfold Path.  The three religions also differ in their perception of a deity. Buddhism is non-theistic, meaning that they don’t worship a god. Instead, its followers focus on self-improvement without the incentive of a god’s reward or punishment. Jainists worship Mahavir, who developed the main tenents of Jainism. Finally, Hinduism is a monotheistic religion in which their God can appear to followers in many different forms, thus often being mistaken for a polytheistic religion. The last difference between the religions is the ultimate goal. Hindus wish to attain the perfect union with God, Jainists wish to understand the soul’s true nature, and Buddhists simply want to relieve life’s suffering.

Works Cited:

Flanagan, Anthony. Buddhism. 2006. About.com. 17 Oct 2006 <http://buddhism.about.com>

Jainism: Principles, Resources, History. 2002. Colorado State University.

 17 Oct 2006   http://www.cs.colostate.edu/~malaiya/jainhlinks.html

Understanding Hinduism. 2000. Colorado State University. 17 October 2006 http://www.hinduism.co.za

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